Oof. Sorry for the terrible pun, but the opportunity was just too good to resist. You see, while my US readers are off enjoying what I hope is a very fine holiday weekend :) , over here in the UK the book trade is currently celebrating a rather wonderful new initiative…

This week(1st-8th July) is Independent Booksellers Week, part of the Love Your Local Bookshop campaign. Here’s how you can help. Step one: click here to be taken to a special search engine where you can find the nearest small, cool, unusual, original, awesome bookshop in your area. Step two: think about maybe paying them a visit!

By the way, here’s a quiet word from /my/ local independent bookshop…!

Yep, it’s the Big Green Bookshop, and they’re absolutely brilliant. Click on the link to find out more about them. :)

Meanwhile, here are some follow-up questions from my visit to Elthorne Park high school on Wednesday.

First up is Daisy from the Tim Guestbook, who says,

Hi you came to my school today and you were talking to us in the library. I was really inspired and bought Tim, Defender of the Earth. You also then told us it might be turned into a FILM. If it is this might be a strange question but could i be in it cause i love acting and its my dream and you said to us follow our dreams so that’s what i’m doing. I’d love to hear more. Daisy.

Thanks, Daisy!

OK. It’s true that (whisper it-!) my agent is currently negotiating a film deal for Tim with a major Hollywood film studio. I wasn’t going to say anything here on the site, because we haven’t signed contracts yet – so in fact that’s almost all I’m going to say on the subject for the time being! But while I’m delighted and honoured to hear that my talk inspired you, I’m afraid I’ve got to give you (and anyone else who asks me this) what might seem at first glance to be a bit of a discouraging answer.

If this deal does finally come together [we're getting close!] …and if the film gets to the point where its makers start casting actors [which, incidentally, is a much bigger 'if': Neil Gaiman, who's had quite a few film deals now, says "I've learned never quite to believe that one of my stories is going to be turned into a film until I'm actually buying the popcorn"!] …then even though I’m the author of the book I will have no control over who is in the movie.

I’m actually ok with that, by the way. Those kinds of decisions, I think, are generally much better left up to the people who are making the film. But to be blunt, I’m the wrong person to ask this question. Sorry!

If (if, if) a Tim movie does get to the casting stage, and if (if, if) the producers decide to give a general casting call for auditions, I will of course do my best to announce it here on the blog. That, however, is all I can tell you for now. But Daisy, I wish you the very best of luck.

Next up, through my new Facebook page, take a bow Oliver, who asks: “When you read passages of your books does it feel weird to read something that you have produced and made for yourself? Thanks for your time. Yours,

Hi Oliver. Thanks for getting in touch.

Reading your own stuff out to people is one of those things that definitely seems like it would be weird before you do it, but once you’ve done it a few times it actually gets less weird quite quickly. I remember watching authors and thinking, ‘Wow, what would that be like?’ Now I’ve been doing events for a couple of years I’m pretty much used to it.

It helps that I did a lot of reading aloud at school, performing in plays and whatnot: through doing that I learned to be a confident speaker, which has turned out to be very, very useful! Another thing that helps make it feel less weird is that I sometimes read my stuff out to myself while I’m writing or editing it. That, incidentally, is an excellent way of checking that one’s sentences are as clear and concise as they can be (eg, running out of breath? time to cut that sentence in half! ;p) And of course, before performing anything I’ve written, I try to make sure I’ve had plenty of practice.

But yes, the first time I try out new material on an audience… that is kind of freaky and nervous-making, I have to admit!

OK, that’s all for now folks. I’ve got to get back in my bathysphere for Phase Three. Today’s research topics have included virus reproductive cycles, spores, germination, and a biological basis for immortality. A very fine weekend to you, too! ;)

PS: Here are some astonishingly beautiful photos of migrating Golden Rays.


Comments? Suggestions? Questions? Me and THE WEBSPHINX would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at the Tim, Defender of the Earth Guestbook for current or Tim stuff, or The Black Tattoo Guestbook for Black Tat stuff. First (or demon-!) names only, please. ;)